SMA MASTER CLASS, the future manga stars from SILENT MANGA AUDITION®.
In this series of interviews we’ll uncover the secrets to their manga creations!
This weeks MASTER CLASS member is the super duo EroPunku & SagaKuroi from Spain and Argentina.
They’re one of the handful duos to win the SILENT MANGA AUDITION®.
They revealed their secrets for overcoming such a large hurdle.
Good Morning Ero-Pinku & SagaKuroi!
INTERVIEW WITH EroPinku & SagaKuroi
“Working as a team makes us feel supported by each other.”
1. Tell us about your countries of origin and where you live?
Ero-Pinku lives in the Gran Canaria (Canary Islands, Spain). It’s a very beautiful island (we have the largest region declared as Biosphere Reserve <3) with one of the best weathers of the world (you can go to the beach all the year!) so you can draw without suffering heat/cold strokes. SagaKuroi lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It’s another beautiful city full of green places, parks and football fields (football is very important sport there!). She loves the capital because is full of libraries, comic shops, antique architecture and the famous Obelisk.
2. How did you first meet and why did you decide to work as a duo?
Due to the distance, we met online 5 years ago, in an artist community’s chat for roleplaying. We didn’t know each other but both us were finalist in an international manga contest from Spain, in different years. We decided to join the same contest again but that time, together, only to try if we could work together and so… and we won!! We published our first professional manga together and we decided to continue our path like this.
3. How do you keep in contact with each other and how do you divide the manga creation process?
Every day at every moment (we live together in the distance *laughs*) by Skype/LINE and the chat room that brought us together. Since both of us draw and create stories, we don’t divide the work. Depending of the manga, one starts first but all steps are touched by both of us when we think we can contribute with something good to the work.
4. What are the advantages and difficulties of creating manga as a team?
Creating manga is a lonely process so working as a team makes us feel supported by each other. We can share knowledge, reviews, skills and ideas, which make the result richer than doing it alone, we learn from each other. Difficulties? Sometimes, we fight because any of us don’t meet the expected times and slows the whole work but we always survive, learn and get stronger after it *laughs*
5. Tell us how you schedule your creations! How long does it take for each step in the process? Which step is your favorite and least favorite?
It depends on the story’s length but we usually think about the idea, we discuss it (it’s the most funny part), then we do a script for every page or chapter and we start the NAME. We revise it a few times and do the needed changes. When we like it, we start the pages (sketches, linearts, blacks, tones and dialogues). We can do 3 pages per day or spend all the day with only one, all depends of the difficulty.
6. What kind of tools do you use and which is your favorite? Let us see it!
P: My Cintiq24HD! My work is 100% digital so I spend money in articulated figures, digital material and softwares. I usually work with CSP, MS4EX, and SAI.
Since I’m a digital artist, the only traditional work I do is in shikishi so… I only need my tablet to work, no ink, tones etc. outside the softwares;; That’s why this photo is so cold, my work is cold *laughs*.
7. Tell us about your preferences when drawing manga and creating stories? What kind of advice do you have for creating characters and stories?
I love doing compositions. Sometimes, Saga makes a rough storyboard and I take it to delete/move/add etc. panel and dynamic. It’s really funny and it’s the moment when I feel inside the story and its tempos. I like tones so much too <3.
I have four basic ideas in mind for designing a character: Only one concept per character (so it must be “THE CONCEPT”); Unique shape (they should be recognizable); Perfection is boring (defects and scars of life make us what we are); and connections (a characters is not what he SAYS about himself, is what the environment/situations/other characters says about him, so is needed to know which character will be with him and how they fit together. It’s something I learnt from Akira Toriyama sensei).
I try that characters can move by themselves, that you can see where they are and they can go panel by panel naturally so the reader don’t get lost on the page or story. The best advice I can have for it is “read a lot or manga”.
“I know who ordered it expects a good work from me, so I force myself to improve.”
8. How do you practice drawing?
I practice doing merchandise for conventions or directly in the professional works. I don’t have a lot of free time between works so with every commission/work I need to do, I try to practice small things I saw and want to try. It’s not something good, you need to do a good work for the client, and sometimes, I should do the same work a lot of times because what “I wanted to try” didn’t work in the end, but it makes me try it harder because I know who ordered it expects a good work from me, so I force myself to improve.
“I practice doing merchandise for conventions”
9. Where do you get your ideas from?
We role play a lot and, sometimes, without expecting it, we got interesting ideas for manga while we play. It could happen at any moment (or not happening when we need it;;). The ideas could arrive from any place like photos, our old draws, strange dreams (something Pinku does a lot;;), etc.
10. Which manga or manga creator influenced your creative style? What impressed you about those works?
We think we can be influenced only in an indirect way. Ero-Pinku is very obsessed with the art so she buys all mangas with beautiful/hot boys. It made her to only wants to do stories with handsome/cute people *laughs*. SagaKuroi loves Yoshihiro Togashi (HunterxHunter), she admires how he surprises you in every chapter and it made her want to do stories that can surprise in someway.
11. What other skills or experiences help you create manga?
Sleepless is a skill? *laughs* I studied architecture and I spend a lot of nights without sleeping until the point that it’s something normal to me. It’s good because I needed to do it again while I draw manga;; and I learnt about the responsibility to do my best effort to comply to deadline. I learnt 3D software in the career too, which is something great for creating manga! And of course, roleplaying so much and writing novels made me faster creating stories and solutions for problems, imagination needs to trains too.
I don’t know if roleplaying is a skill (¿) but since I started roleplaying with Pinku, I have more motivation to draw and create.
“I learnt about the responsibility to do my best effort to comply to deadline.”
12. What are the specifics areas you focus on when creating manga for SMA?
The message. After that, since we can’t use words, we put special attention on the paneling, the movement and camera views to make the composition rides the reader for the message in the exact rhythm that every moment needs to make them more or less important. It has a beautiful cinematic point.
13. What kind of advice have you received from the SMAC! editorial team?
A lot of them focused on the storytelling and its secrets. We loved the “Ki-Sho-Ten-Ketsu” because we really needed it when we starred working with our editor. It helped us to understand how to do an oneshot with the same importance and love as we do a full series.
15. Where there any moments you felt, “I’m glad to have entered this contest!”?
When we saw the result. We join contests to show our work to professionals who can help us to know if we are in a good direction or not. We felt full of energy to continue. (When we were invited to Japan too because we finally could meet in person, a shojo story! *blush* And we could learn from professional magakas!).
15. Are you planning any future projects? What genre would you like to attempt in the future?
Yes, we just release a new manga called “Meowman”! It’s a superhero’s story but as a slice of life with boy’s love spots. We would like to do funny stories with BL spots, so we would like to try any genre when we can include it *laughs*
Ero-Pinku & SagaKuroi
From Spain and Argentina
Thank you for your time EroPinku & SagaKuroi senpai’s!
We hope Meowman will make his debut in Japan. Maybe with the geriatric of pirate story you’ve written down.
Spanish speaking countries are full of cool manga creators. How many more will join the ranks of the Master Class?
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Creative teams can also become Master Class members.
So grab your friends and enter SILENT MANGA AUDITION® Round Seven today!